The Weather Review

Weather Update

August was largely predictable, but below seasonal wind remains a theme of 2021. 

The first half of August was unsettled, with low pressure systems dominating. Europe experienced plenty of rain and high wind speeds to coincide with the hurricanes and tropical storms troubling the US Atlantic coast later in the month. Many of these systems form near Europe and gain energy over the sea as they move eastwards.  

The second half of the month was much drier, with the jet stream moving over the Atlantic and allowing high pressure from the Azores to become the key weather driver. Unfortunately, this didn’t result in much sunshine for larger areas of the country, as many large cloud systems developed and stayed static during this period. Scotland fared better for sunshine, but parts of England experienced their officially ‘dullest’ August for more than 60 years. 

Average temperatures were about seasonal, but with less rainfall. Despite the stormy start to August, only 61 out of 243 days so far this year have been at or above the seasonal average for wind. The low wind levels are adding to an already tight power and gas market in the UK, as discussed in the market section.  

So far, September seems to be making up for August’s failures. A final heat wave of the year hit most parts of the country during the first two weeks, with temperatures averaging around 20/21 degrees Celsius  more than 5 degrees above seasonal averages. The high pressure means wind should stay low as well. Weather should switch back to be more typically autumnal for the second half of the month, with Atlantic-driven cool and unsettled conditions.